Practicing nurses perspectives of clinical scholarship: A qualitative study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
BMC Nursing, 2013, 12 (1)
Issue Date:
2013-09-25
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Background: There is a scarcity of research published on clinical scholarship. Much of the conceptualisation has been conducted in the academy. Nurse academics espouse that the practice of nursing must be built within a framework of clinical scholarship. A key concept of clinical scholarship emerging from discussions in the literature is that it is an essential component of enabling evidence-based nursing and the development of best practice standards to provide for the needs of patients/clients. However, there is no comprehensive definition of clinical scholarship from the practicing nurses. The aim of this study was to contribute to this definitional discussion on the nature of clinical scholarship in nursing.Methods: Naturalistic inquiry informed the method. Using an interpretative approach 18 practicing nurses from Australia, Canada and England were interviewed using a semi-structured format. The audio-taped interviews were transcribed and the text coded for emerging themes. The themes were sorted into categories and the components of clinical scholarship described by the participants compared to the scholarship framework of Boyer [JHEOE 7:5-18, 2010].Results: Clinical scholarship is difficult to conceptualise. Two of the essential elements of clinical scholarship are vision and passion. The other components of clinical scholarship were building and disseminating nursing knowledge, sharing knowledge, linking academic research to practice and doing practice-based research.Conclusion: Academic scholarship dominated the discourse in nursing. However, in order for nursing to develop and to impact on health care, clinical scholarship needs to be explored and theorised. Nurse educators, hospital-based researchers and health organisations need to work together with academics to achieve this goal.Frameworks of scholarship conceptualised by nurse academics are reflected in the findings of this study with their emphasis on reading and doing research and translating it into nursing practice. This needs to be done in a nonthreatening environment. © 2013 Wilkes et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
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